Tag Archives: Social media

Finally March Madness Applies to Women’s Basketball, Too!

By chance did you watch the NCAA Final Four Basketball? It was an incredible final match-up with Univ. of Connecticut and South Carolina, with So. Carolina the final champion. What a game!

Oh wait. Sorry. Did you think I meant the men’s final? Not this year – it was the women getting some equity and coverage. Finally.

Remember last year’s disparity in how the men’s and women’s teams were treated? The issue caught fire online and the outrage caused an outside review of the NCAA’s treatment of the tournaments. The 200-page report stated that the NCAA “prioritized men’s Division I basketball over everything else” – including broadcast agreements, sponsorships, distribution of revenue, and culture.

Not only were locker rooms and equipment clearly unequal (among many other issues!), but the women’s tournament wasn’t even allowed to call itself ‘March Madness’. Only the men’s tournament could use “March Madness” branding. And we all know how powerful branding is for business.

In response to the report’s findings, there were a lot of changes made this year and you may have noticed expanded media coverage as one of the changes. It seemed as if suddenly sports journalists discovered just how powerful women’s basketball was with audiences.

The final championship game was the most-watched women’s national championship since 2004. The 4.85 million viewers on ESPN was an increase of 30% from 2019. The full NCAA Division I women’s tournament averaged 634,000 viewers/game for an increase of 16% from last year. In terms of hours of TV viewing, it was roughly 4.1 million more hours of viewing this year versus 2021!

The research report also found that NCAA has left tens of millions of dollars on the table due to its NOT recognizing the earning potential of the women’s tournament. Estimates are that the women’s tournament could bring in as much as $100 million in broadcast payments. That’s revenue that NCAA can’t afford to miss!

Think about it for a minute. The math is simple.

More viewing hours means more opportunity for marketing and advertising.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who watched the women’s tournament? Who watched the men’s tournament? Why or why not?
  2. Show video of last year’s discrepancies: https://youtu.be/ozGknW86DWA
  3. (Optional) Video of the money behind March Madness: https://youtu.be/ubqGb4_iJMI
  4. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  5. For NCAA, break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: what is company good at?
    1. Weaknesses: what needs work?
    1. Opportunities: what is going on in marketplace?
    1. Threats: what should company be wary of?
  6. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  7. Where would the women’s basketball tournaments fit into the grid?

Source:  Baccellieri, E. (18 March 2022). March madness faced a gender reckoning. Now everyone gets a pasta station – but what else? Sports Illustrated.; Bachman, R. (15 March 2022). A year later, women’s NCAA tournament has more teams, more sponsors and ‘March Madness’. Wall Street Journal.; other news sources.

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Google’s Year of Search for 2021

Marketers need to constantly be scanning the environment, particularly how consumers behavior; their wants, needs, and habits are critical to effective marketing. Consumer insights give marketers information such as product reviews, recommendations, complaints, competition, and many more valuable data points.

Even a year-in-review gives us insights and information about behavior. One great source is, of course, Google. Google processes two-out-of-three Internet queries made each day for an average of 3.5 billion search queries per day. These queries give marketers a snapshot of trends around the world and the research gives us a good idea of what people are thinking and wondering about.

People search for many things in life – we search for love, happiness, health, and search for answers to the questions of our times. We all wonder WHY.  What did the world wonder “why?” about in the year 2021? In 2021 we searched about “how to heal.”

Trend categories:

  1. Together again.
  2. Entertainment, evolved.
  3. Powering Potential.
  4. Big moves.
  5. Life calculus.
  6. Sustainable living.
  7. Redefining normal.

Google tracks searches on an individual country basis as well as globally. Lists are based on search terms that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year. Globally, some of the most searched for topics in 2021 included doomscrolling, COVID-19, affirmations, sea shanties, mittens (remember Bernie Sanders at the inauguration?), body positivity, poet, vaccination, juneteenth, and much more.

What did you search for in 2021? And, what will you search for this year?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Before showing the Google results, poll students as to what they think the top searches were in 2021. Why those topics? Is this the same for different countries?
  2. Next, show the Google site and video of the top searches:  https://about.google/stories/year-in-search/
  3. Monthly list of top searches is fascinating:  https://about.google/stories/year-in-search-2021/
  4. Discuss the importance of market research. What are sources that can be used? Why is tracking trends important?
  5. Divide students into teams and have each team examine a different topic. What are the trends from that topic?
  6. How can these trends be used to develop new products and services?
  7. Debrief the exercise by listing the ideas from each team.

Source:  Think with Google. Year in search 2021.

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Socks are Hot

We long for comfort and style in our dress. Sometimes the stylish fashions are not comfortable, but when it comes to socks, we can have both style and comfort now. Why settle for boring old dark dress socks when you can instead wear vibrant, colorful socks that express your personality and fashion sense?

Indeed, socks are booming right now. As people return to the office (and school), their clothing choices have changed. Comfort is more important the fancy dress. And not only have socks become fashionable, many companies also embrace a social mission with purchases.

For example, companies including Bombas  and London Sock Co. donate socks for every purchase made. Company MERGE4 partnered with the San Diego Zoo on a special edition that gives back to wildlife conservancy. And, Cicada uses its socks to raise awareness of environmental issues such as ocean waste and animal poaching.

Socks are a way to make a statement  without being garish. While these socks are more expensive than the mass-market white athletic socks, they are a low-cost way to stand out.

What’s on your feet?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students to look at their feet. What are their socks? Athletic, dress, fashion?
  2. Show sock websites: Bombas: https://bombas.com/
  3. Cicada: https://www.cicadasocks.com/
  4. London Sock Co: https://www.londonsockcompany.com/
  5. Boardroom Socks: https://boardroomsocks.com/
  6. Merge4Socks: https://merge4.com/
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team review a different website selling socks as well as the company’s social media presence.
  8. What is the messaging for each company?
  9. How can these sites be differentiated and marketed?
  10. Have each team develop a social media marketing campaign for their company.

Source:  Ad Week; Footwear News

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